After RSVP-ing online, the day came to attend our first adoption-related social event. I was quite excited (more so than Ethan), partly because we were going to meet like-minded individuals but also because, as one gets older, one meets new groups of people less and less. To be introduced to a whole new bunch is exciting: like being back at the first day of Uni or something.
The importance of a network is emphasised by adoption agencies: they are keen that prospective adopters have a team of people who they can share the journey with. Moreover, they’re keen that adopters links with people who can provide support and fellowship once the adopted child arrives. In adoption terms, organisations like NFS are akin to the network new birth parents find via organisation like the National Childbirth Trust (NCT).
Anyway, we headed to Soho with a certain amount of trepidation and anticipation. We looked for the reserved area of the bar and found that we were the second couple to arrive. We introduced ourselves to the lesbian couple who were already seated. Then the mutual questioning began: who are you with? Is it LA or VA? What age child are you hoping for? What stage are you at? What’s your social worker like?
We went through this same list of questions with every couple there, and listened intently to everyone’s answers: every couple had an interesting story, their own journey, some unique insights.
Ethan and I had different people who we were most keen on: Ethan’s were a couple of German guys who were incredibly anxious upon arrival. They were stumbling over their own names and professed later to being worried about creating a good impression. For my part, I desperately wanted to make friends with the ‘Super Dads’, whose three (!) children had been with them for less than six months. If I’m going to make friends with an adopting couple, I want them to be a really able, cool adopting couple who seem to take the arrival of three children in their stride!
It was lovely to get to know everyone, even if just a little, and I left the event feeling excited about this whole new community of people who we’ll hopefully come to know and love in the coming months and years. Who knows? If this blog is still going in five years, perhaps we’ll be writing about our holiday to the South of France with us, the ‘Super Dads’ and our collective brood of 4+ children!